X-Factor, Britain’s Got Talent, Pop Idol, and a plethora of shows looking for future beaming stars of West End shows – as the franchise grows, you’re able to sing, dance, mime or shriek your way to fame, without the need for contacts in showbiz (or talent). After careful study of the pulsating beast that is the reality TV industry, Impact is able to bring you a definitive guide to success.

Ingredient 1: Talent (optional)

The level of talent will determine the route you must take for your act. If you have a small measure of talent or above, then your back story is more important. If you have none at all, this should not prevent you, but you need to plan carefully. Being comically bad will only get you through the first few rounds; thankfully Jedward have pioneered a technique of resolute denial of their lack of talent. This primitive form of brainwashing is only able to affect children under 10; unfortunately (or fortunately, for the be-quiffed tone-deaf demons of Dublin), this demographic has an ever-increasing buying power. You will be unable to win the competition, but as these Alan Sugars of the musically-disabled world have proved, you can still secure yourself a lucrative record deal.

Ingredient 2: A real or fictional family at your disposal

If you plan a group act, including parents will only get you a sympathy vote. The sickeningly sweet inclusion of a grandparent will again get you through the first few rounds, so ditch the OAP. Siblings can work, but they must be neither too young nor too female; our research has shown that sister acts fare worse than brothers. Sorry girls.

If you’re going solo, it’s imperative that a close family member is critically ill. The dubious morality of gradually poisoning a close relative will be forgiven once you achieve fame and fortune.

Ingredient 3: Tragic life story

You must be desperately poor – tell the judges of how you grew up in a cardboard box with your 15 siblings and started work in an illegal sweatshop at the age of two. You were violently bullied at school (or in the sweatshop) for your love of singing/tap-dancing/cabaret, and as a result you were frequently hospitalised, and what’s worse, your painstakingly assembled sparkly costumes were ruined. The chance of winning Britain’s Got The X-Factor Idol on Ice (delete as appropriate) is the only thing that will justify your brutal childhood.

Good luck, and remember to cry incessantly whilst waving a picture of your dying (poisoned) relative. Success is but a series of embarrassingly emotional auditions away.

Lucy Hayes

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